Christmas tree business booming this holiday season

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ELKHART, Ind. --- Business has been so good for Christmas tree farms, that many have been forced to close early this year. With the reason being, demand was so high, farms had to stop selling or risk losing trees for the 2021 holiday season. 

It is so great, there is a tree shortage forming in Northern Indiana. Specifically, in Elkhart County, farms just couldn't handle the extra customers. 

"This is only our second year in existence, only open to the public for two years, and we did double the trees we did last year, in a shorter amount of time, so we've definitely seen the increase as well," said the Owner of Flickinger Farms Andy Flickinger.

Andy Flickinger owns Flickinger farms in Wakarusa, and he had to close earlier than planned, despite seeing record sales. This was mostly due to being one of the last area farms to close. 

"With the demand and the sales, the inventory just kind of dwindled down, where we wanted to make sure we had trees for upcoming years," said Flickinger. 

Inventory was being axed quickly, so they had to adjust, stop selling, and allow their remaining trees to grow. That way they can continue to be there for the community. 

“Most people want a bigger eight-foot, ten-foot tree, and most of ours left are six feet or under so we got to let them grow so we have enough for upcoming years bc we want to continue to provide for this community,” said Flickinger.

Farmers tell me, sales have not been this good in years.

“We’ve found that we’re up about 30% on sales, which is a lot more than what we could ever plan for when you plant a crop 10, 12, sometimes 13 years in advance,” said Owner of Dudeck's Pine Country in Rolling Prairie Greg Dudeck.

Originally, the thought of a down year plagued Dudecks Pine, but they felt with people having less to do these days, getting a tree was a safe activity too good to pass up.

“We thought well we might be down on sales because people might be afraid to come out, but I think it’s a nice healthy thing to come out in the fresh air and get a Christmas tree. We’ve talked to a lot of people and they said yeah we’re just stir crazy and it’s a great year to go out and get a real tree," said Dudeck. 

With Christmas looking different this year, farms are still proud to be apart of so many holiday traditions. 

“It makes us feel great that we can provide something small like a Christmas tree, but it makes a big difference because it is that experience that they can remember," said Flickinger. 

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